The Four Feathers Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Four Feathers

The Four Feathers is the story revolving around Harry Feversham, the son of a British general. He is haunted by both his family's remarkable history of service in the British army and the stories of cowardice that he had heard told as a boy during his father's annual “Crimea Nights” reunions. Due to his fear of becoming a coward and staining his ancestors' reputation, Harry resigns his commission in the East Surrey Regiment just prior to Sir Garnet Wolseley's expedition to Egypt to suppress the rising of Urabi Pasha. This is followed by the plot where three of his comrades, Captain Trench and Lieutenants Castleton and Willoughby, send him three white feathers to express their disapproval of his act, and his Irish fiancée, Ethne Eustace, presents him with a fourth feather and breaks their engagement. Harry's best friend in the regiment, Captain Durrance becomes his rival for Ethne.
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After talking with Lieutenant Sutch, a friend of his father, Harry decides to redeem himself by acts that force his former friends to take back the feathers and might in turn encourage Ethne to take back her feather. Thus, he travels on his own to Egypt and Sudan. Meanwhile, Durrance is blinded by sunstroke and is sent home. Over the next six years, Castleton is killed at Tamai, but Willoughby is now a commander and Harry, with the aid of a Sudanese Arab Abou Fatma, succeeds in recovering some lost letters and getting them to Willoughby. Then he learns that Trench is imprisoned in the “House of Stone” at Omdurman and allows himself to be captured in an attempt to rescue him. Meanwhile, Durrance and Ethne become engaged, though each secretly realizes that there are problems in their relationship. The story is about how Harry and Trench escape with help of Harry, how Ethne takes back her feather.
Best part of story, including ending: This story is very well written.

Best scene in story: My favorite was when Harry is able to give his 4 feathers back to those who gave them and was able to prove that he was not a coward.

Opinion about the main character: I liked the change that Harry undergoes; about how he turns into a hero.

The review of this Book prepared by Aastha Sethi a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Four Feathers

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Life of a profession:    -   soldier Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 ()

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Alfred Edward Woodley Mason Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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